Coccothrinax argentata

Coccothrinax argentata (Jacq.) L. H. Bailey

Common Names: Silver Thatch, Silver Top

Family: Arecaceae

Habit: Coccothrinax argentata grows into a medium size tree up to 10 meters in height and approximately 15 cm in diameter. The bark is smooth. Leaves are arranged spirally at the top of the trunk. The petiole base is expanded into a fibrous sheath. The leaves are palmate to approximate 75 centimeters wide. The lower surface has silvery hairs on it given the species its common name.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged  in clusters of spikes along a central rachis forming a narrow panicle. There are 6 pale yellow tepals. There are 11 or 12 unfused stamens. The carpel has 1 locule and ovule. The fruit is a drupe that is black at maturity.

Habitat: Coccothrinax argentata primarily occurs in coastal areas on sand substrate. In many areas it is the dominant species forming a Dry Broadleaf Evergreen -Formation – Woodland (Palm Woodland or Palm Coppice).  It can also occur in Pine Woodlands as an understory shrub.

Distribution: Coccothrinax argentata occurs through out all of the islands groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, south Florida, Mexico as well as the Caribbean.

Medicinal/Economic/Cultural usage: Coccothrinax argentata is used to treat pain.  It is also part of the horticultural industry.